SAULT STE. MARIE — Lake Superior State will have co-captains for the upcoming season.
Current juniors Gage Torrel and Diego Cuglietta were announced as team captains for the 2018-19 season by head coach Damon Whitten during the annual Soo Blue Liners Banquet on Thursday.
In addition, junior Anthony Nellis and sophomore Collin Saccoman were named assistant captains.
Torrel, a native of Monticello, Minnesota, served as an assistant captain during the 2017-18 season. He was named Outstanding Freshman and Offensive Player of the Year during his first season with the Lakers. In that first season, Torrel was named WCHA Rookie of the Month for December and February. Over three seasons with the team, he has scored 27 goals and added 30 assists for 57 total points. This past season, Torrel had 16 points — good for sixth on the team. He received the Jim Howie Unsung Hero Award at the conclusion of the year.
Cuglietta will don the other C as the most recent recipient of the team MVP award. A steady point producer from Kamloops, British Columbia, he finished the season tied for 2nd on the team (with Max Humitz) with 23 points. Known for his speed, Cuglietta has been a presence on the ice in all situations. Nearly half of his 25 career goals have come on special teams (8 power play goals and 4 shorthanded tallies).
Nellis, another junior forward, has been a consistent contributor for the Lakers in his first three seasons. His goal total has risen each season, from 4 his freshman year, to 9 the previous year, to 12 this past season. This season saw the native of Breakyville, Quebec, tally 19 total points. His previously mentioned 12 goals were 2nd most on the squad last season. At the recent Awards Banquet, Nellis was named Offensive Player of the Year.
The only one of the captains who will not be a senior next season, Saccoman was noticed right off in his freshman season for his prowess at blocking shots. His 94 blocks were the most in the WCHA during his freshman year and the 4th most nationally. Saccoman led the league again last season with 81. Perhaps most impressive about his total from his sophomore campaign is that he had 11 more blocked shots than the next closest player (Joe Rutkowski of Ferris State), despite playing in just 27 games. Although he suffered a bit of the sophomore jinx in scoring (18 points in 2016-17 versus 5 in 2017-18), his presence on the blue line is felt.